Monday, September 30, 2019

8 Things to Keep in Mind Before Traveling to Maldives

The Maldives is perhaps one of the most picture-perfect beach destinations in the world. Situated in the Indian Ocean, this archipelago composed of more than 1,000 small islands has miles and miles of white sand beaches and crystal-clear blue waters. It’s also famous for those over-water beach bungalows, perfect for honeymooners or couples out on a romantic holiday.

Thankfully, it’s now easier than ever to book a Maldives tour package and to visit this slice of heaven on earth. Before you do, however, make sure you’re aware of critical bits of information to make your trip so much smoother. Here are a few to keep in mind.

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

No Visas Needed

Yes, you read that right. There’s no need for a visa to visit the Maldives for ALL nationalities. You can stay visa-free for 30 days, as long as you have a passport with at least 6 months validity upon your arrival. You should also have a ticket for your departure, of course, one that is valid within the 30-day duration of your stay.

It’s a 100% Muslim Country

The Maldives is the only one of two countries in the world with a 100% Muslim population (the other is Saudi Arabia). As such, be mindful of religious sensibilities. For women, particularly, make sure that you dress appropriately, i.e., no skimpy or revealing clothing unless you’re on areas where it’s allowed. Salat, the obligatory Muslim daily prayers, are performed five times daily: dawn, midday, noon, sunset, and night. As such, be prepared to hear calls for prayer throughout the day. If your trip coincides with Ramadan, note that there will be additional prayers each day.Many of the shops will be also be closed, and many services will be unavailable for the duration of the holidays.

No Alcohol, Pork, and PDA

Because of their religion, there are quite a few things that are banned in the Maldives. For one, eating pork and drinking alcohol are not allowed. The strictest Muslims don’t even touch alcoholic beverages or anything that contains alcohol. Other things that are not allowed are tobacco products (at least, those without printed health warnings) and religious texts that may be interpreted as something that can be used for preaching or proselytizing. It’s best that you leave these products at home.

Public displays of affection are also against the law, even quick, tiny kisses. For women, clothes that expose the shoulders, elbows, and knees are typically not allowed. The clothing restrictions are a little more relaxed at the airport, but it’s still better to err on the side of caution.

Most of these rules are forgotten or at least ignored on private resort islands, however. You can freely consume alcohol, eat pork, wear short shorts, bikinis, spaghetti-strap dresses and tops, and maybe engage in some PDA. As long as you’re not sunbathing in the nude, almost everything is allowed. Just remember that when you go back to the city center and other islands inhabited by locals, you’re expected to observe and follow the customs.

Best Times to Visit: November to April

For beach bums, the best time to visit the Maldives is around late November to early April. There isn’t much rain during these months, so you can soak up the sun as much as you like. In particular, the months of November to January are windy and not as humid. Meanwhile, for surfers, the best time to visit is during the monsoon season. Avid, competitive surfers can conquer huge waves around June to August; those who are on the inexperienced side can visit from late April to May and from September to October, when the swells are a little more manageable. Note that the monsoon season is considered the off-peak season, as the Maldives is still primarily a swimming, snorkeling, and diving destination more than a surfing one.

Bring US Dollars

The Maldivian currency is called the rufiyaa, but it’s often easier to pay using US dollars. Some resort islands also accept euros or British pounds. It’s best to use smaller notes, however. In the capital, Male, you can pay using US dollars but note that you’ll be given change in rufiyaa. There are establishments that accept credit cards, but the fees can be a little exorbitant. Cash is still your best option.

Their Drinking Water is Recycled

Most of the drinking water in the Maldives is recycled and treated. It’s perfectly safe to drink, but it doesn’t have natural minerals, so you might feel a little dehydrated. Keep this in mind, and drink more if  you need to.

It’s Incredibly Safe

The Maldives doesn’t have a huge problem with petty and violent crimes. In fact, it has a Level 2 threat level from the U.S. State Department. Some of the countries that share the same rating are France, Italy, and the United Kingdom, so that already gives you an idea regarding the Maldives’ safety. What you have to worry about more are powerful waves, since the Indian Ocean is known for its strong currents. For those who love posting on social media, internet access is a little expensive, but free Wi-Fi is usually available in resorts and hotels. You may want to download a VPN, though, since the Maldivian government blocks some websites.

You Don’t Need an Over-water Villa

It’s probably one of the reasons why you want to visit the Maldives: staying in a cabana or villa in the middle of the sparkling blue sea that you saw on social media. However, those can be quite expensive and staying in one is not really necessary to enjoy the beauty of the place. A hotel near the sea is more than adequate. In fact, it can even be the better choice when it’s rainy or windy. Don’t think that you have to stay in an over-water bungalow to have a “legit” Maldives experience.

Got all that? Now go and book that Maldives tour package and prepare your bags. Paradise awaits!

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Send Affordable Flowers in the Philippines

"Make Me Blush" flowers. I got them at 50% OFF! 
It was my sister's 41st birthday last August and I wanted to give something special to her. Instead of buying a mug that she already has a large collection of, I decided to simply give her flowers instead. I remember from a movie that I saw on TV one time that people would send flowers to their departed loved ones, and then the narrator said:

"What good will the flowers do if they're already dead? 
They can no longer smell its fresh fragrance and you can no longer see the smile on their face as you give it to them." 

So that's when I started searching for some affordable yet good quality flowers to give to my sister who turned 41 years old. I figured it's best to give flowers to a person who's still healthy and at the prime of her life so she could appreciate it more. 

So when I started searching online, I found There were a lot of local flower stores online, but this is the only one that I found reasonably priced that also offers seasonal promos. They also offer same day delivery for your loved ones if you order before 5 PM (Manila time) from Monday to Friday or before 2 PM for Saturday and Sunday, and there's no additional cost for it! 

Here are some of the flowers I liked during last season's sale: 

A bouquet of flowers for P999 ($20) only! Wow!

Flowers, cake, and a balloon! Perfect for Valentines or simply sending your love to your special someone for P1,899 ($38)

There's still a lot of flowers to choose from. Go to and use my code: SOUTHBOUNDMOM to get P50 OFF your purchase!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Discover What’s Standing Between You and Your Success in Preventing Hair Loss

There comes a time in your life that you have to stand up and say, “Enough is enough.” And that’s the day when you decide to change your life for the better. Who doesn’t want to become accomplished? Even the “gifted” and brilliant ones have to pay the price so as to realize their goals in life.
When we fail to eat on time, get enough exercise or sleep between seven to nine hours a day, we’re compromising our health and wellness as we reduce the maximum extent that our body must function. Consequently, the effects in our body may extend and manifest as early warning signs of hair loss.
Take it from celebrity beauty and salon expert Fanny “TF” Serrano, who once personally experienced such an ordeal.  For him, avoiding harsh synthetic solutions and choosing to use the right products with natural ingredients is a must and still the best way to deal with mane problems like losing or thinning of the hair. 

With this in mind, embracing natural healthy lifestyle is so important to achieve optimal health, best physical condition and healthy full head of hair. Health products made out of natural ingredients are way effective for better healing and maintaining our body’s lifelong function than those of synthetic ones. Rather than investing in those branded shampoos or other hair treatments, there’s a natural way to help arrest hair loss and help remedy its four early symptoms, namely, excessive hair shedding, thinning hair, receding hair line, and bald patches.This is none other than NOVUHAIR, nature’s answer to hair loss.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

National Eye Awareness Month

Social responsibility is at the heart of the 2019
National Eye Care Awareness Month

Love Your Eyes

#EyeCAN - Join myREDvolution is the centerpiece of this year’s National Eye Care Awareness Month (NECAM), which encourages Filipinos to advocate for meaningful change in the society.

Spearheaded by Eye Mo, the leading eye drop brand in the country, #EyeCAN - JOIN myREDvolution inspires Filipino millennials to embrace their social responsibilities through a series of activities anchored on four pillars: education and health, environment, community and the arts, and charity. These activities complement Eye Mo’s advocacy for proper eye education and eye care, which are crucial to a person’s overall health.

#EyeCan or “I can Change A Nation” is part of its flagship campaign “Eyes Mo, Care Mo,” which is now running on its third year. “We launched the first eye care awareness campaign in 2017 to educate Filipinos on the importance of healthy eyesight. Every year, we want to build on what we have achieved, so that we can reach out to more people and educate them on proper eye care. This year, we are spreading the advocacy further by taking it to communities, through a series of CSR initiatives that can help push the message forward and inspire millennials to promote social awareness and positive change.” said Earl Jayona, Head of Marketing for Eye Mo Philippines.

The #EyeCan - Join myREDvolution campaign builds on the successes of the 2018 campaign called #REDVolution, which focused on the millennials and which encourages them to pay it forward through their active participation in community activities. The campaign kicks off this month and will run until the end of 2019.

To spread greater awareness on the importance of eye health, a series of eye care lectures will be held, and free hygiene kits will be distributed. There will also be free eye checks. The nationwide campaign highlights Eye Mo’s strong commitment to spreading eye care awareness by combating the five signs of eye irritation, namely, sore, itchy, red, watery, and dry eyes. It also continues to advocate for proper eye education and eye care.

Eye Mo launches NECAM through school and university invasion

Recognizing the importance of proper eye care among the youth, NECAM will visit schools and universities via concert tours, latching onto the power of music to spread the importance of eye health, bringing it to thousands of students across the Philippines. As part of the NECAM campaign, a short documentary film will be launched featuring five outstanding millennials who have contributed positively to society. The short documentary film aims to open people’s eyes on what they can do so that they can contribute to changing the nation for the better.

CSR Activities: #EyeCan movement go into high gear

The #EyeCan - Join myREDvolution campaign also aims to address eyesores in the community by working with youth groups in cleaning these up. On August 31, executives and volunteers from Eye Mo with the support of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA), Barangay Health Workers from Barangay Baseco, and Pasig River Rehabilitation (PRRC) have done tree planting and clean-up drive at the Baseco Beach, Manila. It also partnered with TV5’s Alagang Kapatid Foundation and held a feeding program to kids at the Baseco Compound. Various NGOs such as Nestle Philippines and i2i New York also joined hands with Eye Mo Philippines through giving out protective sunglasses for adults and  packed milk to kids. A talk on proper eye care, free eye-check ups, consultations, and Eye Mo products were also given to adults in the community.

Eye Mo has also tied up with numerous communities in Metro Manila to effect visible change in the environment. As part of this, volunteers from school organizations and SK groups will also be tapped to do wall mural paintings to beautify the communities.

The #EyeCan - Join myREDvolution movement is a call out for millennials and Filipinos alike to learn and embrace their social responsibilities and bring visible change to their communities.

For more information, please visit or check out @EyeMoPH on Facebook.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Customer Success and Its Importance to Business

Photo from Pexels

Businesses nowadays give importance to customer satisfaction because, to put it simply, if you have happy customers then customers will continue buying your product in the long term. Small businesses can easily see and check if their customers are satisfied. For example, if you have a food stand and people line up to buy your food on a daily basis, then it’s a clear image that you keep your customers happy. But what about medium to big businesses? How do they know that their customers are satisfied with the service or product that they purchased? This is where customer success software comes in. 

First of all, let's start with customer success. Customer success, in fact, is becoming one of the most important factors across all types business—the difference between a company going broke and achieving mega-growth. To explain further, according to Wikipedia, customer success is the business methodology of ensuring customers achieve their desired outcomes while using your product or service. Customer Success is relationship-focused client management, that aligns client and vendor goals for mutually beneficial outcomes. Effective Customer Success strategy typically results in decreased customer churn and increased up-sell opportunities.

To understand what that means, let me share this with you: I overheard once from a client I handled before that he accidentally poured coffee on this laptop. He took it to a service center where he was accommodated by a repair guy. The repair guy checked his laptop and explained what need to be fixed with the item. The repair guy further suggested that after they fix the laptop, they were also willing to give him a discount if he would purchase an accessory for the laptop such as headphones, wireless mouse, etc.  Since this old client of mine was happy with his laptop and thought he needs a keyboard for it, he gladly purchased a wireless keyboard because sometimes he would prefer to type using an external keyboard than on the laptop’s keyboard. So in the end, it was easy for the repair guy to up –sell to his customer because he was happy with his laptop’s performance and buying another product would further improve his satisfaction with the laptop. So that’s one example of customer success strategy thanks to the laptop’s performance that initially made the customer happy.

Now that you have a better picture of what customer success means, did you know that there is a software for it? You guessed it right. It’s called a customer success software. Customer success is every essential to business nowadays and they definitely need a program to check it. According to an article from the Customer Success Association , businesses are going to need a suite of effective tools that will power your Customer Success group and enable it to scale as your customer base grows.  This is not something you can do with your sales automation system and a few spreadsheets. 

Aside from customer success software, there’s also customer success con events. Customer Success conferences are the best places for direct in-person networking with other Customer Success professionals.  The entire conference is designed to facilitate executive connections and knowledge-sharing both during and long after the day.

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